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I thought Craig Biggio gave a great acceptance speech yesterday. It was great because he thanked a number of people who helped him get to Cooperstown – teammates, coaches, clergy, friends, family, owners, clubhouse folks, and his wife Patty. He also thanked the game itself.

I am more than A-OK that Craig Biggio will wear forever in the Hall of Fame the lid from the brick red days that made its debut when The Yard opened in 2000. He wore it the night in June of 2007 when he got his 3,000th base hit and he wore it the last eight seasons of his career. I will wear that lid to every game I make it to this homie in honor of Criag Biggio.

Pammy approved that now Hall of Fame lid. Nice choice!

Biggio is the first Hall of Fame great to be inducted wearing ‘Stros gear. Name the seven Hall of Fame greats who at one time wore H-Town gear as a player?

After the HERO got shot down by the Texas Supremes last Friday, this was put out:

Sylvester Turner issued the following statement in response to today’s ruling by the Texas Supreme Court that suspended enforcement of the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO):

“I support the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance and am confident that voters will uphold the ordinance. Houston is strongest when we work hard, work together, respect each other’s differences and always put the good of the community first.” – Sylvester Turner

I don’t think so. I really don’t think either side is going to show a whole lot of respect for the other. That’s not going to happen. Not when the potential focal point of the debate is going to be bathrooms.

Heck, the name calling already started. This is going to be a very heated campaign. The local political insiders now want to know if the HERO campaign is going to dominate the political landscape for the next three months or so.

Way to go to the folks who shut down I-10 close to Downtown this past weekend. That was one big cluster___k ya’ll created.

I have to give a shout out to Carlos Duarte and his very professional crew over at Mi Famila Vota in preparing for the Emerging Latino Leaders event over at Rice University in September. Bill King was over there this past Friday for a well conducted interview and twitter chat.

Hall of Fame greats Nellie Fox, Randy Johnson, Eddie Mathews, Joe Morgan, Robin Roberts, Nolan Ryan, and Don Sutton of course all wore H-Town gear as a player during their careers.

The Royals also got a bit better yesterday.

Can ‘Stros baseball get any better? We trail the Angels by one and they are at The Yard for three starting tomorrow evening! Talk about a key series! Be there!

HFD’s Turn

Commentary doesn’t think the Chron E-Board approves of how the current administration runs HPD and HFD. In recent months the E-Board has called out how the Police Department has been run. Today they put the wood to the Fire Department. Here is how it ends:

Houston needs political leaders who are willing to take a 360-degree look at our fire department and insist that taxpayer dollars only be spent promoting smart strategies. That’s the report we’re waiting to read next.

Ouch!

Check out the entire E-Board take here: http://www.chron.com/opinion/editorials/article/HFD-report-still-leaves-us-wanting-6402455.php.

HPD and HFD are two or the largest City departments. What the E-Board thinks is one thing, what the voters think is another. What does that say?

Craig Biggio gets inducted into the Hall of Fame this weekend. He played his last game on September 30, 2007. Who did we play that day?

Go get a hard copy of the Chron so you can get your twelve page Biggio commemorative section.

Filling out candidate questionnaires is time consuming. Do they really need to be that long though?

Another week, another mass shooting. Only in America.

I think I will pull an Erica Grieder and not say much about Trump other than to say keep on trumping.

Craig Biggio’s last game was against The ATL of course.

Baseball is back. We made a trade yesterday that brought us Scott Kazmir from the A’s and that made us a bit better.

Then we swept the Red Sox last night on a Jose Altuve walk-off dinger.

30,000 plus showed up last night. We have won five of our last six and are now just a game behind. We are in KC for the weekend and the Royals have the best record in the AL.

Here is the headline from today’s lead Chron editorial:

Fighting inequity
Structural problems at City Hall help well-off neighborhoods and hurt everyone else.

In going over this campaign season’s questionnaires and attending meetings, forums, and candidate screenings, there appears to be a concern that H-Town is becoming more of a city of “haves” and “have-nots.” Some folks don’t like the Rebuild H-Town formula for prioritizing projects. Some think “Worst First” discriminates against low-income neighborhoods. Some feel the well-off neighborhoods get the love from H-Town City Hall and some feel the low-income neighborhoods get neglected by City Hall. I am hearing this from trade groups, civic clubs, and grass roots groups.

Here is how today’s editorial ends:

The upscale neighborhoods get nice things, the poor get moved out of the way, and everybody else gets bad streets. If we want to change this, City Council members will need to start fighting.

Bill King is the only H-Town mayoral candidate who is talking about this and has probably upset a bunch of folks. Some folks in H-Town don’t like things being shaken up.

Here is the entire editorial: http://www.chron.com/opinion/editorials/article/Fighting-inequity-6400511.php.

Craig Biggio was our leadoff batter for all four of our World Serious games back in 2005. Who batted second?

The Trump media mega-machine goes to Laredo today. Once again he’s sucking up all the GOP press coverage. Meanwhile, the other GOP candidates struggle to get attention. Expect to see and hear Trump punk Rick Perry in his own backyard. In a way Perry is getting his. Perry was one the first to stir up the border security issue and now he’s getting trumped by it.

Commentary is hearing that the U Visa Program is going to be a topic at H-Town City Hall in the near future. Now that is interesting and probably necessary.

Are you following @VoteHOU?

Willie Taveras of course batted second behind Biggio in the 2005 World Serious.

31,000 plus turned out last night and a bunch scarfed down Dollar Dogs. We have won four of five since the All Star break and are still two out. We are 53-43 and continue to lead MLB with 132 team dingers.

Yesterday I put out the Chron’s horserace piece on the H-Town Mayor’s campaign. Yesterday was about getting the GLBT endorsement. Other horserace takes include who’s running, who’s raising the most dough – you get the picture.

Maybe the Chron will get around to actually covering the horse. Some of the candidates are staking out positions and letting voters know what kind of mayor they want to be. Let’s see if the record matches the rhetoric.

Most have had careers in public service. How and what did they do? I think it is time for this discussion.

Everybody knows that Craig Biggio played from 1988-2007. What year did he become our regular starting second baseman?

On the Sandra Bland death in Waller County, Pulitzer Prize winning columnist Lisa Falkenberg says this:

When was the last time you were stopped for failing to turn on the blinker while changing lanes?

If you’re white, chances are never. If your skin has a bit more pigment, you may have a different answer. You may have not-so-fond memories of “routine” traffic stops that really aren’t routine.

I’ve encountered a few jerks in law enforcement but mostly, good, mature cops who handled themselves professionally. So I used to have a hard time believing police officers would waste their time and our tax dollars stopping people for minor infractions until I saw it with my own eyes and heard firsthand accounts from friends and relatives of color.

A black friend was stopped for a dim license plate light, and another time on an East Texas highway for following me too closely. My Mexican-American brother-in-law had his van stopped, searched and partially disassembled in Alabama because the officer told him the tint looked too dark. During the search, the officer said the vehicle looked too nice to be his. My husband, who is South Asian, was stopped for speeding in my home county, Guadalupe, as we drove to a friend’s wedding. We tried to explain to the state trooper that the speedometer was broken, but he quickly ordered my husband out of the car to investigate another claim: whether we were really married.

And:

To get there, we have to go back to the beginning. Bland’s arrest didn’t stem from some serious threat to public safety. It started with a blinker.

Commentary has been Latino forever. When it comes to skin pigmentation I got my Mom’s genes and not my Dad’s so I have never had those lousy experiences but I know friends who have.

I don’t think the trooper involved should be a trooper.

Memo to Rick Perry. You are not going to win an argument with Trump. Here is what Rick Perry said about Trump: “I am going to stand up to him, just like I would stand up to Vladimir Putin.”

What? Putin controls a nuclear arsenal, Trump can’t even control his piehole.

Biggio became our regular starting second baseman in 1992 of course.

It was good to see close to 27,000 show up at The Yard on a Tuesday evening. We won but are still two behind.

Sign Me Up!

Trump in the headlines is always helpful to Dems. Keep on trumping. Who is next on the insult list?

The struggling Red Sox are in town for three. Name the Red Sox player with the highest batting average on the team?

Is Rep. Sylvester Turner the favorite to win the GLBT endorsement for H-Town Mayor after signing up a bunch of folks? He is playing by the rules. We will see on August 8. Check out Rebecca Elliott’s piece today from the Chron:

Houston’s mayoral candidates are angling for the GLBT Caucus’ coveted support, with state Rep. Sylvester Turner’s campaign purchasing dozens of memberships and others urging supporters to sign up ahead of the group’s August endorsement meeting.

In the last month, caucus membership jumped by about 200 people, from 325 to 525, leaving some longtime members, particularly supporters of former congressman Chris Bell, concerned that this year’s endorsement already may have been bought.

Caucus President Maverick Welsh, however, said the campaigns’ efforts will not be enough to tip the scales.

“We know campaigns actively try to push as many people into the room as possible, and that’s why we’ve strategically tried to grow our membership over the last year and a half,” Welsh said. “I don’t think any candidate has enough members to be able to buy an endorsement.”

The group was formed in 1975, in an effort to provide support for gay-friendly candidates. Spurned in its early days by candidates seeking elected office, the GLBT Caucus endorsement now is highly sought-after in citywide races, its nod having become a stamp of approval for the city’s progressive voters. As a result, campaigns often push people to sign up in an effort to accrue more votes on endorsement day.

Former congressman Chris Bell has been actively encouraging supporters to join and show up for the August meeting, while City Councilman Stephen Costello has pursued what his campaign described as a “low-key effort” to get people to join the caucus’ ranks.

Turner, on the other hand, opted to write the group a $3,040 check two weeks ago – enough for at least 76 memberships, according to spokeswoman Sue Davis.

“It’s something that’s done every year,” Davis said.

All three candidates, as well as former Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia, are seen as contenders for the caucus endorsement.

However, the scale of Turner’s purchase has garnered attention within the group’s ranks, and caused some in Bell’s camp to worry.

“It’s insulting to the caucus, I think,” said member David Arpin, a Bell supporter. “What does that say about the organization’s endorsement, if the organization’s endorsement is basically worth as much as you’ll pay?”

The issue is particularly acute for Bell, a longtime ally of the gay community – one of the few that consistently votes in Houston’s municipal races – as he currently has less money in the bank than any of the top-tier candidates.

“If he doesn’t get the endorsement, that may cause a reassessment of his campaign,” said Richard Murray, a political science professor at the University of Houston.

The group’s backing is less crucial, but still important, for Turner, who already has a sizable base of support, Murray said, noting that Garcia least needs the endorsement.

Former caucus president Noel Freeman, a Costello supporter, said campaigns also purchased or sponsored memberships during his tenure, though not enough to sway the outcome of the endorsement process.

“I never saw an endorsement vote that was so close that (it) would have made a difference,” he said, adding that he never saw a campaign purchase more than 45 memberships during his tenure from 2011 to 2013.

Welsh, who expects the caucus to send its endorsement card to upwards of 41,000 households, played down the idea that the campaigns’ efforts would swing the vote, but said the uptick in membership is a good thing.

“It’s kind of nice to be in the position of being the belle of the ball for once,” he said.

Former caucus president and Turner supporter Kris Banks agreed.

“I think everyone signing everyone up is just to kind of keep up with everyone else,” Banks said. “I think the members are going to decide for themselves.”

I just hope the folks that got signed up believe in the cause. I wonder if Rep. Turner signed up folks for Tejano Dems?

I am flabbergasted why they go through these exercises knowing full well that it will never become law. Immigrant bashing just guarantees the Latino vote for Dems. Here is from CNN:

The immigration debate, which has roiled the Republican 2016 presidential field, is coming to the House of Representatives this week.

House GOP leaders have scheduled a vote on legislation that withholds federal money for states or local governments that have policies that prohibit federal officials from enforcing immigration laws.

After Donald Trump, the billionaire businessman, made controversial comments about the danger posed by Mexican immigrants in announcing his candidacy other GOP candidates have been pressed about their own positions on how they would reform immigration laws.

Shortstop Xander Bogaerts of course leads the Red Sox in hitting with a .309 batting average.

We have won two out of three but have fallen two games behind. We can’t let down against the Red Sox who are on a five game losing streak.

Weekend with Bernie

Bernie Sanders is good for the process. I have run into his enthusiastic supporters and seen his bumper stickers in my ‘hood. 5,200 saw him yesterday at Hofheinz. 7,000 saw him in Dallas.

I certainly hope he has staying power. It would be good for the Dem Party if we had a healthy and vibrant Dem Primary here in Texas and Harris County. It would be nice if tons of folks came out to vote next March.

This was tweeted last night:

Evan: Homeowner! ‏@evan7257 11h11 hours ago
According to my parents, who are eating at La Griglia, @SenSanders is sitting next to my parents at La Griglia

All I can say is La Griglia has a sign at The Yard above the Landry’s Crawford Boxes so it is OK with Commentary if Bernie grabs a bite there.

Name the pitcher with the most wins in the AL?

I am not going to say much about the race for H-Town Mayor other than to say I find it interesting to see a campaign put out stuff that they can’t back up.

This is what it is in the twitter world:

kept_simple ‏@kept_simple 24h24 hours ago
Trump has been calling Mexicans rapists for weeks but the thing that will finally sink him with journalists is being mean to John McCain

Keep on trumping!

A bit of sad news

The Associated Press ‏@AP 4h4 hours ago
Character actor Alex Rocco, famous for mobster Moe Greene in “The Godfather,” dies at age 79: http://apne.ws/1OpoDOH

One of the best whack job movie scenes of all time – one to the eyeball.

Rocco said this in 2007: “The Godfather is what made me go from hamburger to steaks.”

Dallas Keuchel of course has 12 wins to lead the AL.

What a weekend for the ‘Stros. 36,000 plus change Friday and yesterday, SRO on Saturday. Yesterday Dante and I got there 20 minutes before the game and had to park five blocks from The Yard. I think I posted a picture yesterday of us together. This is our tenth year of going to games together. Dante is a month shy of his 16th birthday and stands at six feet three – wow!

We have the day off and then the Red Sox are in for three.

Forcibly Gentrified

Second Ward, you are on the clock.

Last night Commentary attended a Second Ward Town Hall Meeting where folks expressed their concerns about changes happening in their community. The G word, gentrification, came up a time or two. One passionate Second Ward resident warned about Second Ward getting ‘forcibly gentrified.”

Second Ward is the latest of H-Town ‘hoods near Downtown where redevelopment is taking place and new folks are moving in. The Chron did a lengthy piece on Second Ward a month or so ago. For the most part, folks that got up to speak last night were of the Latino persuasion.

More and more folks want to live close to Downtown and developers know this. Drive beyond Navigation and Canal and see the changes taking place. Developers are now looking east and north of Downtown.

There were not any solutions offered last night because there really aren’t any other than to try to work with developers. Last night one developer was called out by the passionate resident.

Voting precinct 9 is the Second Ward neighborhood closest to Downtown. All you have to do is check out the voter roster and compare it to 10 years ago to see the change.

Craig Biggio will be inducted next weekend. Everybody knows that Biggio is fifth in all-time career doubles with 668 two baggers. How many times did he lead the NL in doubles in a season?

We put this out yesterday.

KARLA CISNEROS RAISES $30,000 IN JUST 45 DAYS

The January 1st – June 30th Campaign Finance Reports that all candidates must file, are now publicly available on the City of Houston’s website. The Karla Cisneros Campaign is pleased to announce that we have raised over $30,000 in cash donations in just 45 days.

“I am grateful for the generous financial support I have received over the last month and a half,” said Karla Cisneros. “I formally announced my race for City Council District H on May 31, two days after completion of the school year. It’s exciting to see our campaign grow on a daily basis, as voters across District H continue to offer their support and encouragement. At this rate, I am confident that we are on the road to raise the funds to wage a successful and winning campaign. ”

Help Karla make a difference on City Council! Join the campaign team by signing up as a volunteer, hosting a house party, or making a donation at
http://www.karlacisneros.com.

Biggio led the NL in doubles in 1994 (44), 1998 (51), and 1999 (56) of course.

We get back at it tonight with three this weekend against the Rangers and a half game behind the Angels. We definitely need better offensive production from Carter and Valbuena. Play ball!

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